Can you legally test your employees for HIV?

Ashley Churchyard, Fsp Business, 25 Dec. 2014

Tags: hiv, hiv at work, hiv in the workplace, hiv risk management system, hiv risks at work, hiv testing

With world AIDS day around the corner, you’re probably hearing a lot of AIDS campaigns. Now you may think these are just for people in their personal lives. But this isn’t true.

You, as a business owner, need to sit up and take notice of your company’s HIV risk.

But this doesn’t mean you can rush out and just test all your employees for HIV.

You can only do this legally in this particular situation…

This is when you can legal test your employees for HIV

According to the Supreme Court, as it found it in the legal case of Irvin & Johnson Ltd v Trawler and Lion Fishing Union and Others, you don't need to apply to test your employees if they volunteer to undergo the testing and it’s anonymous.

Remember testing can only be voluntary if your employee gives you informed consent. You can’t expect an employee or a job applicant to take an HIV test to determine his HIV status.

So what does it mean to give informed consent? The Court has said you need three things to get your employee’s informed consent.

*********** Reader’s choice  ***************
Reduce the impact of HIV on your workforce
How you may ask?
By educating your employees on:
·         How to prevent HIV;
·         How to prevent spreading it;
·         How to work with HIV or Aids; and
·         How to manage HIV or Aids.
You can minimise the effect their health and HIV status has on your business!

And we have the ultimate tool to help you do just that! 

If you want to test your employees for HIV, you need informed consent with three elements

1.       Your employee must understand why you're doing the test;
2.       You must make sure your employee is fully aware of the possible risks and consequences of the test (what a positive result would mean); and
3.       Your employee should have access to counselling both before and after the test.

There are very strict laws in place when it comes to HIV and testing your employees. Make sure you follow them and be very clear with your employees about why you want to test them.
Check out the Health and Safety Advisor to find out about your rights and responsibilities when it comes to HIV in your workplace.

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